Organized PvP is in awful shape right now. The community has been leaking members since before 2.0, and the two weeks of broken queues (half a subscription period) blew open the valve and spilled out nearly all of what was left. The team has put a nice new replacement valve in place - don't get me wrong, I think the new interface is great - but the water has already escaped and soaked into the soil.
This is particularly bad for PvP. A competitive PvP population behaves quite differently than single-player or even casual PvE/PvP groups. It has a very strong critical mass effect behind it - if there are not enough people to play against, then the experience not only degrades, it ceases to exist.
I believe that even the most conservative credible estimates of the organized PvP community will now show that we have passed this point. Two player-organized tournaments in the last month have been aborted due to lack of interest. Even attempts to orchestrate a casual biweekly meetup have fallen apart. Interested, challenge-seeking players have continued to lower their expectations, but the bar's sitting on the ground now, and it's still not enough. STO's non-pickup PvP scene is comatose.
I'm well aware, as I'm sure you are, that customer recovery is more difficult and resource-consuming than either retention or recruitment. I therefore see this as presenting a sharp dichotomy for the direction of STO's ongoing design. The historical resource allocation toward supporting competitive PvP (mechanics, balance, environments, incentives) is below the threshold for effectiveness. Consequently, it's almost as bad as having nothing at all. You would have to dramatically increase design (combat systems), technical (code, QA) and community (forums, marketing) resource allocations to regain critical mass and bring the community back to life.
The question is, will you do this?
Going by existing information, the outlook is not good. According to the most recent Engineering Report, there is nothing on the horizon for organized PvPers. In fact, there is nothing at all for PvP other than bug fixes to existing maps that very few people play.
On top of that, the ill-defined "Open PvP" notion that many players have been hoping for as the ultimate solution to STO's PvP woes is barely a blip on long-range scanners - 2011 at the earliest.
All indications are that the STO team's priorities are on two things right now: fixing bugs and creating weekly PvE content. That's all well and good, and the quality levels in those aspects of the game have clearly increased as a result - as I said, the team put a darn nice replacement valve on that leaky pipe. However, the value proposition to organized PvP players, who log on every day to find that there is nobody around to invite into those challenge queues, remains poor to nonexistent.
My hope is that the information I have cited is simply dated, and that Cryptic has already committed the resources necessary to scan, hypo, transfuse, or otherwise shock the PvP community back to life. Failing that, however, I hope that you will at least put this matter to rest in the straightforward professional manner that we have come to expect from you.
Please let us know what your plans are for organized, competitive PvP. Cortical stimulator, cryostasis, or a holodeck burial?
I wanted to give out some information on what's on the way for PvP in the near term.
4) Specific tournament queues that open for a fixed window of time (likely something short to start with; a weekend) that will track your individual performance and display the results with rewards given out for top honors.
More is on the way, but the above is in development (or already in testing) and should be out soon.
Thanks as always for your patience,
What's the status on the tournaments and stat-tracking?
It just seems odd, does all this add up at all to driving the change in STO?
If there is lack of a PvP community about then who are these driving voices that want to nerf this and nerf that in the current game mechanics of STO?
Are they the last of the few and the last of the brave PvP community seeking to make their gameplay experience better at the cost of the PvE community who could very well be the majority rightly recognised by Cryptic as the ones who are the bread and butter of this game?
I find it an odd situation where the drive for change for the mechanics of the game seems to fall on, from forum appearances (looking at the various forum section threads), a very vocal majority (or are they just a majority on this forum to drive so many nerfs and adjustments?) who, in this thread OP, appear to be a lamented and dying breed/ turned player minority?!?
If thats the case then I can understand why and hope (confirmed or otherwise) that the drive for change is actually from the PvE community who as it stands appears to look forward to a brighter STO day, towards fixing the bugs first then moving forward with PvE content etc.
I could imagine it is nothing but sheer annoyance and a big negative to gameplay persistence/longevity for a happy PvE'er to wake up to an update to know that nerf a and nerf b (which inconveniences their gameplay for whatever respect/aspect) were down to an accumilation of threads and comments generated by an alledged minority of voices. Complaints and criticisims so numerous that it was noted by the powers that be and acted upon for the sake of an alleged minority PvP population.
If this is the case then I can understand why flame to the nuclear degree is poured upon these forums at times and not necessarily by the "percieved" minority.
Ahh a'las poor Yorrik what hast thou done to endure thee?